Poisoning Killed More Arizonans Than Guns in 2011

While gun-control advocates have been showing off a report that shows more Arizonans have died from bullets in the last few years than car accidents, that report neglects the number-one cause of injury deaths in Arizona -- poison.

A report on injuries released today by the Arizona Department of Health Services shows that 4,546 people died from injuries in 2011, and one-quarter of those people were killed by poisoning.

See also:
Arizona Still One of Few States Where More People Die From Guns Than Car Crashes

"Firearms" is still the number-two cause of injury death in Arizona (yes, with suicides included), but check out the list of the top causes for more perspective:

  1. Poisoning -- 25%
  2. Firearms -- 20%
  3. Falls -- 17%
  4. Motor vehicle traffic -- 16%
  5. "Other" -- 9%
  6. Suffocation -- 7%
  7. Drowning -- 2%
  8. Nature/Environmental -- 2%
  9. Cut/Pierce -- 1%

Obviously, most people in Arizona don't die from injuries, but unintentional injuries are the third-leading cause of death overall, far behind the top killers -- heart disease and cancer.

Perhaps Arizonans are riskier people, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stats show unintentional injuries are the fifth-leading cause of death nationwide.

A separate AZDHS report on poisoning shows the top poisons listed on death certificates in 2011 were alcohol (186), oxycodone and hydrocodone (175), heroin (120), meth (116), morphine (101), and benzodiazepines (99).

Very young kids were more likely to be poisoned by things like cosmetics, cleaning supplies, and painkillers.

Check out the AZDHS report on injuries here.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley